What Will Apple Say Tomorrow? Your Guess Is as Good as My Analyst’s.
Rampant speculation is the standard precursor to any Apple (AAPL) event, and tomorrow’s iPhone 4 press conference is no different. Its announcement inspired a flurry of analyst notes this morning, all wondering aloud about how the company will respond to the increasingly vocal criticism of its latest smartphone. Consensus among them is that the announcement of a hardware modification is still far more likely than a recall.
“We now believe there is a 50% chance the company offers a free modification to current iPhone owners and includes the modification on all future iPhone 4s (e.g. a coating around the antenna),” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients today. “We have no knowledge of the company’s plans,” he said, “but we see an in-store fix and modification to future iPhones as the likely scenario (not a recall). Despite these issues, consumers love the iPhone 4; ultimately we believe Apple will manage these issues in a consumer-friendly way and maintain its pristine brand.”
UBS analyst Maynard Um isn’t betting on a recall, either.
“We believe a recall is unlikely as any recall would presumably be more immediate and sales halted by Apple and its operator partners,” he wrote in a research bulletin. “However, if the solution were straightforward, investors are likely to wonder why it wouldn’t be issued by press release (though Apple already addressed the issue in a statement on July 2). We believe an event is necessary, as a press release to address what has become a ‘loud’ issue would likely have drawn more ire.”
And from the shadowy world of anonymous insiders, a “person familiar with the matter” tells the Wall Street Journal that a recall is not in the company’s plans.
Sounds about right. As I wrote the other day, “an iPhone 4 recall? Steve Jobs would rather recall hiring John Sculley.“
[Image credit: Rick Smolan]